Opinion | Morgan Liddick: Kathy Griffin’s sick prank part of long-standing liberal attitude
Remember back in 2008 when Fox News regular Grechen Carlson played a joke by holding up a dummy Barack Obama head with a noose around its neck? And the resulting firestorm that got her fired despite her apology for what she called a joke gone wrong? If you do, I’d cut back a little on the fake news; it’s beginning to affect your memory.
Sorry, neither Ms. Carlson nor Laura Ingram, nor Michelle Malkin, nor anyone else on Fox — or elsewhere in big media — did any such thing for the eight dreary years of Barack Obama. To quote the Great and Powerful Oz’s gatekeeper, “Not nobody, not nohow.” It was way beyond the pale. Yet here we have, not five months into Donald Trump’s presidency, a suggestion of violence against the president so creepy that even the reliably Left CNN recognized it was holding a time bomb and threw it as far and as fast as possible.
What are we to make of Kathy Griffin’s performance with a dummy severed Donald Trump head, other than that she has the social graces of a randy warthog and the foresight of all three blind mice combined? What led her, a CNN guest commentator and occasional comedienne, even to think that such a tableau — a bloody presidential head being held aloft à la ISIS, or the modern equivalent of an English headsman shouting “Behold the head of a traitor!” — would be anything but disgusting? The awful presumption is that no one around her had a second thought about it. They might have joked about “going to jail,” or having to escape to Mexico, but no one ever suggested that Ms. Griffin ought to give the bit a miss.
Which exposes the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about how a great many on the Left see their ideological and political opponents. They have no sensibilities to offend, no feelings to hurt, no fears or hopes to consider. They aren’t real people with real ideas that might be worth considering; they are just obstacles to be ridiculed, isolated and, in the end, crushed. By any means necessary.
It’s not only the isolated elites of Progressivism who love the poor in abstract but wouldn’t touch one in reality, even on the off-chance that one could break through the cordon of doormen, bodyguards and chauffeurs. No, this attitude is contagious; I often encounter it in my discussions with left-dwellers, who opine with apparent sincerity and at considerable volume that Republicans are both vicious and stupid; really do want to throw granny off a cliff; lust to starve the poor and enslave anyone who doesn’t have a seven-figure income, to serve their debased needs. It’s a cartoonish viewpoint, but it isn’t funny. Except perhaps to the likes of Kathy Griffin and her fans.
Ms. Griffin has now retained legal council, tearfully and publicly claiming that the Trump family, right down to 11-year-old Baron, is “bullying her.” News flash: If you’re a 56-year-old adult with a national audience that loves your penchant for catty humor and cutting remarks, a weeping complaint about being bullied by a pre-adolescent kid will spawn laughter. At you, not with you. Remember the high school comment about being able to dish it out, but…? You’re there.
All this is ironically humorous to anyone with historical knowledge. What the hard Left is now doing with the president and his supporters — the violence, the crude jokes, the caricatures that belittle and dehumanize their opponents — is a central and longstanding element of Democrat party politics. I saw it myself in 1960s Alabama and Mississippi, where every officeholder was a Democrat and every Democrat had, shall we say, similarly nasty views about a certain segment of humanity. Plus ça change, plus le meme chose…
What is no laughing matter is what follows, and is justified by, this mindset. Once a target has been properly isolated and demonized — the baby-eating banker, the planet-pillaging plutocrat, the heartless individualist — open season may commence. Public spaces are occupied, sufficient protesters are rounded up, media are filled with vituperation, confrontations ensue. And violence, naturally. The burning. The smashing of windows, cars and other private property. The assaults. All justified by manufactured indignation and calculated dehumanization.
Kathy Griffin’s antics won’t have caused any of this, of course; she’s just a twig being swept along the gutter. But that twig shows the direction of the current, and it isn’t good. Because like most gutters, this one ends at the drain.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.
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